A Texas man who met a woman on the dating app Bumble on Christmas Eve kidnapped, beat and tortured her for five days after she denied his sexual advances, authorities said.
Zachary Kent Mills, 21, of Spring, was arrested and charged with felony aggravated kidnapping after the woman on Thursday escaped his apartment, where she endured days of Mills’ punching her, hitting her with a screwdriver and starving her, according to allegations in court records filed in district court in Harris County.
Mills kidnapped the woman, identified only as J.W., on Dec. 24 after he picked her up and took her to his apartment, authorities said. The two had begun a romantic relationship after they met on the dating app, according to a probable cause statement. At Mills' apartment, he promptly tried to have sex with the woman, who denied his advances, court records said.
“He immediately began to physically assault her and would not let her leave the residence,” the probable cause statement said. The woman told authorities that when Mills got tired of hitting her with a “closed fist,” he would “grab a screwdriver and would strike her with the handle.”
During her five days captive, Mills did not provide her with any food or water, the probable cause statement said.
She was able to escape from the apartment when Mills left to visit his father. When the woman was interviewed by authorities, her injuries included “severe bruising to both eyes, bite marks and cuts to both her throat and nose, and severe bruising” to most of her body, according to the probable cause statement.
Other court records tied to the case show Mills was apprehended Friday and booked into jail Saturday.
Records show he was released on a $50,000 bond Monday. Court records also show prosecutors requested a $100,000 bond, while his defense asked for a $20,000 bond.
Mills’ lawyer, Chris Denuna, said Wednesday his client has no criminal record and is not considered a flight risk.
Denuna said that the allegations are “egregious” but that the judicial system has to play out. Denuna said he is waiting on potential evidence to be turned over by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The court-imposed stipulations on Mills include wearing a GPS monitor, 24-hour house arrest and an order to stay away from the alleged victim, records and Denuna said.
“We are pleading not guilty,” Denuna said. “It’s important the process … gets carried out before we find these allegations credible or not. That’s the whole point of due process and presumption of innocence.”
A spokesperson with the district attorney’s office declined to comment Wednesday but did confirm that the office requested a $100,000 bond.
A representative for Bumble could not immediately be reached for comment by NBC News.
In a statement to NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston, Bumble said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear about this horrible crime. We blocked this member as soon as we were made aware of this situation and in accordance with our Community Guidelines. We also have a dedicated law enforcement team available to respond to any requests from law enforcement as needed.”